Repertoires of ‘migrant names’: an inquiry into mundane identity production
journal contributionposted on 12.04.2021, 08:30 authored by Aija Lulle
This paper examines how, when and where personal names are produced as ‘migrant names’. Drawing on 21 interviews with young Irish and Latvian migrants in the UK, I demonstrate how mundane stories, linguistic details, and repertoires about migrant names are embodied, mobile, relational, and produce everyday social distinctions. Empirical analysis unpacks changes in naming stories throughout participants’ multiple migration trajectories in Ireland, Latvia, the UK and beyond. I argue for a geographically sensitive take on migrant names because they are produced as such through recognisable repertoires of displacement and then re-emplaced in certain spaces and times. The paper makes three main original contributions. The first is to interdisciplinary literatures on names, specifically on the significance of temporal and spatial contexts and the relationalities underpinning the production of migrant names. Second, it brings to geographies of identities novel understandings of ethnic and national power relations in naming practices, including an emphasis on the process of ambiguous whiteness. Finally, I contribute much-needed methodological propositions on how to pseudonymise names in migration research.
Horizon 2020 Programme project YMOBILITY, grant number 649491
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Geography and Environment